In late 2013 I saw the Vivian Maier exhibition on the Upper East Side. One of the quirkiest, though-provoking parts of the exhibition, a real treat that continues more and more to play on my mind, was the little spice of performance art cleverly disguised as something that we see so much and regard as run-of-the-mill. A lady with a very Vivian-Maier look was seated on a chair in the corner of the exhibition. She sat typing on a key board that I’m not sure existed. There definitely was no screen (computer). Just her typing on a key board and silently but noticeably growing in discontent and when I looked at her she even rolled her eyes. It was only because I used to work in offices (and they were most very, very boring) that I knew “where she was” and yet for some reason I just thought she was actually working and typing without the need for a screen. Maybe she was… but it has crept back into my mind as performance art. The act of being at a computer, for most of us, results in sighs for most of the day. If we take away the computer screen itself, and see ourselves just on a seat typing, we start to realise how funny an ‘activity’ it is. Add to this the fact that we can go a whole day and not achieve anything. We leave in the afternoon, we leave an office full of screens and keyboards. They are like symbols of something akin to blood-suckers, exasperating us, and making us go home after being sedentary most of the day. It illuminated the ridiculousness of human behaviour and made me so happy that I no longer work 9-5 Monday to Friday in an office.
The exhibition itself was wonderful. http://www.vivianmaier.com/exhibitions-events/
p.s. This entry is not finished and I apologise for not editing my ramble below on the SERIAL podcast. Lots of errors. I think I was actually trying to solve it by writing about it.